Perhaps it's another sign of people moving on from 9/11, or perhaps it's something else, but WABC/Channel 7 has decided not to air the reading of 9/11 victims' names on Tuesday, the 6th anniversary of the attack. Instead, it will continue with its regular programming following the moment of silence at around 9 a.m. If the decision isn't changed, the top-rated station will become the city's first not to air the reading of the 2,749 names. Kenny Plotnik, the station's news director told the Daily News, "We decided to provide continuous coverage on our digital channel and Web site so our audience could have a choice between their regular programming and the Sept. 11 ceremony. We hope to be respectful to the families and serve our audience. This is not about ratings, it's about what's right."
Family members of victims are obviously upset. Bill Doyle, father of a firefighter told the Post, "I'm very depressed . . . ABC cares less [than others] about 9/11. It's obvious they're more worried about ratings. Shame. Shame on them." Taking a dig at his station's rival, Dan Forman of WNBC/Channel 4 said, "The fact of the matter is, there's still a hole in the ground. The healing is not complete. It strikes a chord in the community."
Channel 7 anchor Bill Ritter will be at Ground Zero beginning at 5 a.m. and will be there for the whole ceremony for the digital and web coverage. Ritter will be on air at 7 when the ceremony starts, and from 8:25 until after 9 when when the station will switch its coverage.
Update:WCBS 880 tells us that WABC/Channel 7 has changed their minds, due to overwhelming public outcry. We're told that "They got so many calls, it shut down their switchboard."
Photo of last night's test of the Tribute in Light by dietrich on flickr